This post was written by Nancy, who is a regular contributor. She also runs a blog Savingforadream
A few weeks ago, I wrote about strategies for paying off a big vacation. I have a few updates on our progress for saving up for our big Alaska trip on Disney Cruise Line in 2017:
Sell Your Stuff—We had our neighborhood garage sale. The day before the garage sale, this free Alaska vacation guide I ordered off the internet arrived in the mail. I showed it to my kids.
My 8-year-old son was enthralled. He saw photos of orcas, bald eagles and bears. He did a school project on orcas and was very interested. “What?! There are orcas in Alaska? And eagles? And bears?” Yes, hopefully we will see those in Alaska! And now he wants to pan for gold and ride the train.
That brochure was all the motivation he needed. He went to his room and started gutting it for stuff to sell in our garage sale. We started to veto some of it because he was going a little overboard. My other two kids, on the other hand, were not willing to part with much for the garage sale. I predict we will see them someday on an episode of “Hoarders.”
On the day of the garage sale, we started selling around 7 a.m. and ended at noon. We were exhausted!
My kids helped sell—in their PJs
At the end of the morning, we made……drumroll…..$128. I was hoping to make at least $200, but the traffic just wasn’t there. It doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but sometimes I need to remind myself that the little things add up! An added benefit is that we got rid of a bunch of stuff we no longer need and our house is less cluttered (we donated the things that did not sell).
We have two more neighborhood garage sales before our big trip, and I’d like to participate in at least one more. Our kids will have outgrown more clothes and toys by then. I may sell a few things online over the summer as well.
Use bonus money—It turns out that we are getting some “bonus” money that wasn’t even on my radar of potential bonuses. My husband’s company has a referral program where employees can recommend outside people for jobs inside the company. He referred one of his former co-workers and just found out last week that he got the job! The bonus will be $1000 (minus taxes) but won’t be paid out until 90 days after the new employee’s start date. Yay for unexpected bonuses!
If you have any tips on having a successful garage sale, or if you have other ideas for adding money to your vacation fund, please share in the comments. Thanks!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.